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This Week in Disrespect: Uncle Moe’s Family Barfbag

October 9, 2009

There exists nothing in this world that we loathe more than our revered Lowell hockey program being marginalized and disrespected. Obviously. A close second, however, is the nauseating degree to which those allegedly “in the know,” the woefully uninformed college hockey media, consistently snub individual River Hawks with their complete ignorance of the facts.

We begin this week’s stroll down Malfeasance Lane with the College Hockey News. Being one of the proud few college hockey media outlets to have not found a comfortable spot within our Levels of Disrespect, the braintrust at CHN must have decided to go for the gusto and elbow its way past several other suitors who are just clamoring for out attention with its ludicrous preseason “All CHN team.”

Searching the list, the knowledgeable hockey fan is sure to come away with one burning question, “Where’s Maury Edwards?” Yeah, that’s what we thought, too. Apparently the sophomore superstar (that’s right, superstar) has, through some incomprehensible mix-up, had his paperwork dropped in the “Lacks Credentials” file next to a slew of underachieving Minutemen and Catamounts at this internet abomination. And that, difficult though it may be to believe, isn’t the worst of it.

You see, apparently there is a Hockey East defenseman whose skill and resume warrant being on this list. No, remember, Matt Gilroy graduated. Give up? Kevin Shattenkirk*. Seriously. We assumed CHN was just having a laugh, but this appears, since the article remains unchanged some days after it was posted, to be their actual stance.

The grounds for this — and get ready for a whopper here — was that Shattenkirk* “allowed Gilroy to do his thing” last year.

Let’s get one thing straight, shall we? Matt Gilroy “did his thing” because Matt Gilroy was and is an NHL-caliber player. He just happened to be playing in college at the time. Irrespective of the supposed talents of Mr. Shattenkirk* (whose pregame instructions could never have been anything besides, “Hang back at the red line so Gilroy’s ‘fourth forward’ crap doesn’t cost us too many goals, okay?”), Gilroy would have put up a bunch of points and finished plus-129 like he did the last three years. Being a support player isn’t grounds for stardom or that ginger on the Celtics would be a 12-time NBA All-Star.

As long as we’re giving support players all the credit for another’s success, how’s about we give Ryan Blair a nod? After all, he’s he one that allowed Edwards to “do his thing” — that being scoring a boatload of goals and points and having a frighteningly big shot by which everyone in the league is rightly frightened — last year. Apparently that’s important to you chuckleheads.

Edwards must have a long history of running over the pets, siblings and children of the clowns that decide these things, because there’s no reason for him to get snubbed so often in favor of a No. 3 defenseman from a team that just happened to be the best in the past 10 years or so of the college game. That he had more goals and points in fewer games than Shattenkirk* seems, to them, irrelevant to the argument, since we dredged up the Hockey East league scoring from 2008-2009 and found this:

1. Maury Edwards (UML) — 27 GP, 9-16-25
2. Matt Gilroy (BU) — 27 GP, 7-17-24
(you’ll notice there’s a gap here)
8. Kevin Shattenkirk (BU) — 27 GP, 3-13-16

Well that’s.. strange.

So what was it then? Well, CHN lists Shattenkirk’s credentials thusly: “A second team All-American last year, and First Team All-Hockey East.” Interesting, since that simply isn’t true. Looking at Hockey East’s yearly awards, we see just two defensemen on the Hockey East first team. There’s Gilroy, of course, and then.. hmm, they seem to have misspelled “Kevin Shattenkirk*” as M-A-U-R-Y-E-D-W-A-R-D-S. What a very odd mistake to have made.

So now we know that both the stats and plaudits from the media support what we all know to be as definite and irrefutable as gravity: Shattenkirk* isn’t fit to hold Edward’s jock.  We find ourselves at a loss to even articulate the depth of this slight. There’s nothing that proves, nay, even suggests that Shattenkirk is better than Edwards on any measurable level.

Having rationalized that this slight to Edwards was due to nothing more than CHN’s inability to understand the game of hockey, or even simple math, we grudgingly swallowed their tripe (after deciding that they were, of course, On the Radar, supplanting Brandon Yip), and vowed to move on, saving what we assumed to be sweet revenge for a firestorm of “toldya so’s” come March. Unfortunately, the college hockey media landscape is filled with more Grade-A morons from Bovine University than we could have ever imagined.

Inside College Hockey, released its list of not just two, but THREE preseason All-American teams. Figuring that, at worst, we’d have to (legitamatley) argue would be Edwards placed on a team that wasn’t the first, we were disgusted — but not terribly shocked — to find the best defenseman in Hockey East left off all three teams.

At this point we understand that you, o reader, have come to see the profundity with which the conspiracy against Lowell is perpetrated. Not since the fabled “Apology” has Lowell had its face so horrifically spat in. And, just like that fateful day in 2005, it wouldn’t surprise us to discover that this is all a result of the hateful retaliation undertaken by one Joe Bertagna.

To suggest that there are two defensemen in college hockey better than Edwards is a stretch over which we might deign to allow a plea of ignorance, but frankly it’s one with which we’re more than uncomfortable. However, to expect any rational hockey fan to stomach that there are SIX better blue liners? Don’t be thick in front of us. And by the way, who ended up on the list ahead of Edwards? You guessed it, Frank Stallone Kevin Shattenkirk*! The audacity is dizzying.

Putting aside, for the moment, the leviathan-sized mound of disregard that has been shoveled over top of the great Maury Edwards with a rented backhoe, we turn our attention away from the national media and look a little closer to home. The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, a local rag with a more motley readership than the Lowell Sun, ran a piece previewing the perennial doormat squad they regrettably cover, the Merrimack Warriors, and gave us this gem:

Goaltending: May have Hockey East’s top 1-2 punch
Joe Cannata will likely enter the season as the starter, but don’t be surprised if senior Andrew Braithwaite pushes for time. Braithwaite was stellar as a sophomore (2.38 GAA, .922 save percentage) before slipping as a junior (3.08, .892) while battling a nagging ankle injury.

It is arguably the best one-two combination in Hockey East.”

Arguable, we must ask, by whom? Surely, this cannot be the argument of a person who is living on the planet Earth circa October, 2009. Certainly, these thoughts cannot be those of a sane person whose job, presumably, is to pontificate upon sports in exchange for money. Clearly, this calamity of misused logic and misconstrued preconceptions is either that of a raving, throw-a-net-over-him lunatic at best or a considerably large homer at worst.

Allow us a moment to contact Carter Hutton and Nevin Hamilton with the bad news that their two stat lines — 2.25/.910 and 2.18/.926 — are somehow worse than 2.71/.907 and 3.08/.892.

Neither statistics nor performance grant any credibility to this outrageous claim, which has obviously landed their author, one Mike McMahon, On Notice, and henceforth netted the goaltenders in question an Asterisk.

The more we think about it, the more we realize this degree of scathing anti-Lowell sentiment is par for the course. The college hockey media is overflowing with know-nothing hacks who don’t know the first thing about hockey in general, especially the college landscape, even before they tipped back the handful of malted wobblypops it must have taken to cobble together these remarkably stupid lists. It’s unfortunate that Lowell is such a frequent target of their venom, but we at TIIL see ourselves as the last bastion of truth, and hopefully we’ll be able to use this forum to set the record straight.

But to be fair, and arriving back where we started, Moe is “graciously” listed as a CHN “Player to Watch,” and that makes a lot of sense. Because if you don’t, one of his one-timers will probably rupture space-time and you will be sucked, screaming, into the nothingness of the fabric that holds our reality together. And really, you’d deserve it.

You morons.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike McMahon permalink
    October 9, 2009 1:55 pm

    However, you neglect to include that I could be the only person, other than you, to pick Lowell to win HE this season.

  2. RHHB permalink
    October 9, 2009 4:10 pm

    that’d be the only reason you’re not Dead to Us

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